Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Perry E. Metzger (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 15:52:15 MST

Samantha Atkins <> writes:
> On Fri, 02 Jan 2004 15:13:52 -0500
> "Perry E. Metzger" <> wrote:
>> Unclear. Many people who are possessed of high IQs lack "social
>> intelligence", and it may very well be a question of how much effort
>> can be put in to both problems simultaneously. It is hard to be good
>> at things like deep math or physics problems without being obsessive
>> about them -- but if you are obsessive about them, it leads to
>> spending a lot less time learning about social skills, which can lead
>> to things like having a lot more trouble doing things like attracting
>> a mate.
> My take on it is that what works socially is largely based on a lot
> of relatively dumb and uninteresting monkey stuff that bores
> brighter minds silly. Our intelligence becomes a handicap because
> we see the inanity of much of it and ask too many awkward questions.
> These questions annoy others, distract us from the situation at hand
> and make it difficult to pretend many of the rituals are
> meaningful.

Some of it is actually pretty straightforward and not very
ritualistic, such as figuring out that other people have independent
interests and that you have to convince them to do what you want by
appealing to those interests. However, you are right that determining
if someone in a bar is likely to sleep with you has to do with reading
stuff in body language and behavior that is pretty low level primate
ritual -- and knowing how to take advantage means, likewise, a
considerable familiarity with likely reactions to various responses.

On the other hand, many people who complain that they can't get a date
are capable of mastering complicated video games that are no less (or
more) meaningless, if a bit less complicated.

Perry E. Metzger

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